Smutty drag act comes on a little strong
This article is from 2010.
‘A woman with tits’ is how Rich Fulcher introduces his current favourite character creation, Eleanor (The Tour Whore). Spotted first in season three of The Mighty Boosh, this dusky, seductive lady has been recast as a sordid super-groupie, happy to take all-comers, and broach the most intimate of carnal details in a confessional seminar/book reading about her life of sexual experimentation and degradation.
Eleanor has had ‘liaisons’ with a number of musicians. And by ‘liaisons’ she means ‘full penetrative anal sex’. Yes, this is one for fans of vulgarity. There’s enough talk here of human squelchiness to satisfy the most puerile mind, and on the whole it strikes the right balance between Carry On-style innuendo and straight-up statements of deviant fact.
The barrage of smut is channelled through Eleanor’s autobiography, My Highs and Helloooooooos! which she reads from through the show. These sections produce some gems, with Fulcher indulging in the sort of surreal storytelling and general molestation of the English language that (dance moves aside) constitute his real comedic strengths. ‘You will smell poetry,’ Eleanor warns at the top of the show. ‘I invented the phrase, “Pound you like yesterday’s beef”.’ When Eleanor gets to her father’s shore-bound attempts at whale hunting (‘he was shit,’ she admits), things reach a brilliant peak.
But then there are a few too many weak set-pieces, pre-recorded videos, songs, sound effects, props and inappropriate interactions with audience members – all helping Eleanor to cram in more filth – that gradually detract from the strength of Fulcher’s wordplay. The show starts to feel tacked together, with the end a particular anti-climax. You wish Fulcher would delve a little deeper into his own brilliant mind, rather than fishing about in the Fringe-standard shallow waters of sexual comedy. More talking and a little less thrusting would help.
Udderbelly’s Pasture, 08445 458 252, until 30 Aug, 11.30pm, £13–£16 (£11.50–£14).